Pirkko Varis with all participants enjoying the spring weather in Virrat
Altogether 35 students and 10 staff members from Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, UK and Finland participated in March 2016 in an advertising and marketing communications project, organized by Senior Lecturer in Marketing Pirkko Varis from Tampere University of Applied Sciences, School of Business and Services.
“Travelling in the Heart of Finland” region had given the assignment to project teams. The aim was to raise the profile of “Travelling in the Heart of Finland” region as a destination for international culture and nature tourists from Europe and plan new marketing communications possibilities for the region, especially with new social and digital media.
The UK student group with Laura Campbell
Prior to travelling to Finland market surveys including focus group discussions were conducted in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and UK, the results were presented in the beginning of the week and the findings were used in the planning process. Finland team had produced a report on Finland as a tourism destination, information sources used for decision making, booking channels and digital demand for Finland.
March in Virrat – ice, snow, sunshine and open water in the lake
Laura Campbell, Senior Lecturer in Advertising from Southampton Solent University, UK delivered a lecture on Communication Strategy and Pepe Martínez-Sáez, Senior Lecturer in Advertising from CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Spain on New Media Strategies in a Digital Landscape. All staff members of the universities worked as coaches for the teams. Dr Nik Mahon from the University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art and Ken Burtenshaw, Advertising Art Director/Graphic Designer worked as special experts for creative brief and creative ideas sessions. Nik Mahon also delivered lectures on the Creative Brief and How to pitch your ideas.
Members of the winning team
One of the teams – Ada Hosio from TAMK the third from the left
Students from six universities planned in multicultural teams advertising and marketing communications campaigns for the “Travelling in the Heart of Finland” region. The teams combined traditional marketing tools with digital and social media in their marketing communications campaign proposals. The members of the winning team were Laura Beemsterboer, Christopher Neff, Mitchell Scholten, Alessandro Rancati and Blanca Vicent Beneito. Many creative solutions were developed by all teams and the region is able to use some of the ideas immediately and some in the near future.
Accommodation in Lomasaari, Virrat
The programme included also sightseeing in Helsinki and Tampere. Students and staff members lived in wooden houses at a lake in Lomasaari, Virrat and could enjoy special sauna, lake and other experiences of Finnish culture. The bus company Ykspetäjä Oy, Lepikonmäki-yhtiöt offered excellent service in all transportations.
The Dutch student group with the staff member Penny van Wolferen and certificates
The German student group with Prof. Dr. Ralf Schellhase
Students and staff members spent the last evening of the stay in Pub 66, where the awards ceremony was organized and thereafter all seemed to enjoy their time singing karaoke.
Singing karaoke and enjoying the great atmosphere
In the following some students share their experiences and thoughts of the intensive course and time in Finland.
Alessandro Rancati from Southampton Solent University, UK:
I would start by saying that this experience overcame by far my expectations I had pre trip.
I had an amazing time and spent it with great people that became new friends. I also really enjoyed the work-project of the IP for several reasons. Firstly because we had a real “client” and working on a live brief gave me the motivation to do my best in order to win it. I feel to say that I have been lucky too – within my team, all the skills combined beautifully, and all the members contributed to the final project equally.
As regards the organisation in general I didn’t expect such as wonderful wooden chalets and locations. The view from the window was exceptional – a frozen lake surrounded by snow and trees – a proper post-card style! As we said during our presentation we want to thank the overall organisation for the splendid opportunity that let ourselves immerse in the environment that we had to advertise.
All the lecturers were great and they delivered specific contents all throughout the week, in addition they were always ready to help us and their feedbacks were crucial for future improvements. I strongly recommend IP Virrat trip to everyone who is interested in an experience in the sign of friendships, learning outcomes, beautiful places, new experiences, snow and saunas! Just escape…
Students having some free time outdoors
Chris Neff from Hochschule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences, Germany:
First of all, I want to thank the whole organization team for hosting this outstanding event once more. It was a challenging week with quite some workload (and hardly any sleep 😉 ), but it paid off in two very rewarding ways: From a professional point of view, we were able to gain valuable hands on experience regarding advertising & marketing. Secondly, and in my opinion vital in a world in which networking becomes ever more important, the IP offered a unique chance to get to know great people from all over Europe! This, for me personally, was the key take-away. Thank you very much for all the effort which you put in this event, Pirkko, it definitely paid off!
Evening in Lomasaari
Carolina Broekmans from Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, Belgium:
I started the Intensive Programme with mixed feelings. I thought this would be a very exhausting week with a lot of work to carry out. What I hoped was that, aside from the hard work, I would meet some interesting, new people. It turned out that we had indeed some work to do, but it was less exhausting than I expected. Because we worked in international teams, with people I barely knew, I enjoyed the working part and found it quite interesting. I love making campaigns, so the assignment suited me very well. The best part, however, were the times we were free and able to do whatever we wanted. I will never forget the nice people I met, the experiences I had (I can actually scratch swimming in an ice lake from my bucket list) and the activities we’ve done (the last night in Pub 66 in particular). I am really glad that I decided to join this programme!
Download the programme of the intensive course 2016 pdf
Text: Pirkko Varis
Laura Campbell, Southampton Solent University, UK
Alessandro Rancati, student, Southampton Solent University, UK
Mark van Varik, Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, Belgium
Pirkko Varis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland
The following institutions participated in the intensive course:
Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, Belgium
CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Spain
Hochschule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Inholland University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands
Southampton Solent University, UK
Tampere University of Applied Sciences, School of Business and Services, Finland